Martyrology of Tallaght

  • Late Old Irish, Latin
  • list, prose

Martyrology, probably first created at Tallaght (Co. South Dublin) in the late eighth or early ninth century and receiving additions until the tenth. It consists of an abridged version of the Hieronymian martyrology whose Latin entries for Christian martyrs and saints were then supplemented with the names of Irish saints commemmorated on the same day.

pp. 355[1]–365[11]
Incomplete. This copy, originally belonging to the Book of Leinster, is richly annotated with notes and poems in the margins. Leaves with entries for 30 January–(most of) 11 March and 20 May–31 July (and part of 1 August) have gone missing and still must have been present when the Kildare copy (below) was written. Entries for 1 November-16 December are also wanting.
Kildare, sean leabhar, containing the martyrology of Tallaght
A copy still seen by Ó Cléirigh and used for the Brussels MS (below) but now lost (Follett: 239). Ó Cléirigh reported that it was wanting after 31 October (Ní fhuarus ancuid ele don martarlaic san seanleabar i cCill Dara). According to Best and Lawlor, this exemplar and the next derived from the Book of Leinster (Franciscan A 3).
Leabhar mór, containing the martyrology of Tallaght
The second exemplar of the Brussels manuscript, simply referred to as Leabhar mór (Asan leabar mór so síos), which was used for the entries of 31 October and 17-24 December. It is now lost (Follett: 239).
ff. 209r–224v
Incomplete. This version omits nearly all of the Roman entries. (1)n. 1 Westley Follett, Céli Dé in Ireland (2006): 222–223.
  • Late Old Irish Latin
list, prose (primary)
Associated items
Aided Bresail meic DíarmataAided Bresail meic Díarmata

A brief, early Irish saga and hagiographical legend, which relates how Díarmait mac Cerbaill had his son Bresal slain for appropriating a nun’s cow and how St Béccán rescued the soul of the king’s son from hell, resuscitating him.



Céli DéCéli Dé


saints of IrelandIreland and Irish history, Irish people, saints
saints of Ireland
id. 27585



Westley Follett, Céli Dé in Ireland (2006): 222–223.

Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Best, R. I., and H. J. Lawlor, The martyrology of Tallaght: from the Book of Leinster and MS. 5100–4 in the Royal Library, Brussels, Henry Bradshaw Society, 68, London: Henry Bradshaw Society, 1931. xxviii + 264 pp.
Internet Archive – Available on loan: <link>
[ed.] Kelly, Matthew, Calendar of Irish saints, the martyrology of Tallagh, with notices of the patron saints of Ireland, and select poems and hymns, Dublin, 1857.
Internet Archive: <link>
xi–xl Earlier edition, from the Brussels MS.

Secondary sources (select)

Follett, Westley, Céli Dé in Ireland: monastic writing and identity in the early Middle Ages, Studies in Celtic History, 23, Woodbridge, 2006.
Ó Riain, Pádraig, “The Tallaght martyrologies, redated”, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 20 (Winter, 1990): 21–38.
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
October 2010, last updated: June 2024